Payments company MobiKwik has partnered with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to power tatkal payments through their wallet. To book a tatkal ticket with MobiKwik within 2 seconds, users must preload their wallet with the desired amount using netbanking, credit or debit card or cash loading.
Tatkal is a special high demand service that was launched for the benefit of passengers who have to plan their journey at the last moment and cannot secure reserved accommodation.
The company claims that booking through MobiKwik will ensure that bookings do not get rejected due to payment delays. MobiKwik added that over a thousand bookings happen over Tatkal and that over 15% daily ticket bookings for Indian Railways happen under the service.
MobiKwik is a already a payment option on the IRCTC app and the IRCTC Foodontrack app.
The tatkal service was notorious for its downtime. In 2012 Indian Railways, announced that it has taken several additional steps to streamline Tatkal ticket bookings and increased ticketing capacity of the IRCTC website is being increased from 350,000 per day to 500,000 per day within four months, with the long term goal of reaching 800,000 tickets per day and the booking time of Tatkal tickets being revised to start at 10AM from 8 AM.
This was prompted by criticism on the performance of IRCTC’s online ticketing website, and allegations that a daily 4-5 minute downtime was orchestrated in order to help touts book Tatkal tickets.
In April 2015, IRCTC users booked 13.45 lakh e-tickets on a single day, its highest so far, and up from 5.80 lakh e-tickets in March 2014, which was the previous record, and 5.72 lakh in September 2013. In May, IRCTC claimed to process over 180 million transactions every year.
In August, Net1, a South African payment systems company, invested $40 million in MobiKiwk. With this deal, MobiKwik will be integrating Net1’s virtual card technology across all its wallets and extend its wallet services to all merchants. The company said that it will be using the funding to scale up in India and grow to a user base above 150 million and sign on 500,000 merchants. MobiKwik has a user base of 32 million and 100 retailers.